Luther Library

Luther Statue

03 March 2006
  Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice

Originally posted on Necessary Roughness on January 9, 2006.

I finished Anne Rice's latest work, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, on the Columbus to Houston leg on my way to Oklahoma City tonight.

The book is a fictional but plausible first-person narrative of Jesus Christ in his seventh year. His family, now extended with an uncle, aunt, and cousins, returns to Nazareth from their exile in Alexandria, Egypt, and rebuilds their house and town. Israel is rocked by the rebellion of the Jews against Herod the Great, and Caesar sends troops to put down the insurgents as well as some innocents.

Mary and Joseph continue to keep Jesus's origin a secret, even from Jesus himself. Herod the Great is killed, but they fear one of his sons, Herod Archelaus or Herod Antipas, might renew the search for the prophesied King of the Jews. Jesus is bewildered by the miracles that happen: when another kid strikes him, the child is struck dead, and Jesus, asking the child to wake up, performs his first resurrection. In another situation, he prays for the healing of his uncle, and it happens. He wishes for snow, which had not occurred since the Nativity (according to the book), and it falls. Realizing that he can do miracles, but not knowing why, he prays to God to only do things that the Father approves.

Jesus receives additional clues from a rabbi during the Day of Atonement, who informs Jesus of the prophecy and the ensuing slaughter of 2-year-olds and under by Herod the Great. His cousin/adopted brother James finally lets the cat out of the bag and tells Jesus about the Star of Bethlehem, the visitors, and the angels. Jesus asks Mary one more time with this information, and Mary finishes out the story with what happened to her.

Rice emphasizes Christ's humanity a great deal, to her credit. Jesus gets cut. He gets sick. He cries—no surprise given his grief over Lazarus's death in the Gospels (John 11:28-36). He learns new words in Greek. There is a moment where he feels sorry for the children who were slaughtered because of Him. He has no direct conversation with the Father or heavenly angels, but in a dream he talks to an angel who identifies himself as a prince of chaos.

There isn't much to offend theologically from what I can tell. Rice's Mary supports Semper Virgo but makes no comment on the Immaculate Conception. According to the Gospels the first miracle performed by Jesus was the turning of water into wine at Capernaum (verse 11 of John 2:1-11). The early miracles are drawn from the Apocrypha and other legends. There is also not much foreshadowing into the Gospels, though there is one entertaining incident where the women of the family discuss the political influences that determine who the next high priest will be when the next Herod assumes the throne. They figure Caiaphas will be the next high priest, borne out in Matthew 26 and John 18.

Anne Rice writes very conversationally in this book, emphasizing the youth of the first-person narrator. When a miracle occurs Jesus describes it as "power flowing out of me". There were no complex plot twists; Jesus getting sick garnered most of my surprise. The book is an interesting interpretation of what could have happened between the return from Egypt and the 12-year-old showing up in the Temple going about his Father's business. Rice doesn't preach a course of action but just tells a story, which could explain her success with other subjects.

Recommended for everyone.

Feedback
 
Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

About the Library
Luther Library seeks to encourage the reading of good books by confessional Lutheran pastors, church workers, and lay people through regular reviews and recommendations.

Review Requests

Would you like to submit or suggest book, video, software or related items for review? Please read our guidelines and then submit your request to the Library.

Newer Posts

  • Worship, Gottesdienst, Cultus Dei:
  • Current Lutheran Carnival
  • Carnival Reminder
  • The Battle Isn't Over
  • More Thanks
  • More on the Lutheran Blogolution
  • Lutheran Carnival Time
  • Wise Words
  • Going Out, Getting Dumped, and Playing Mini Golf o...
  • Carnival Deadline
  • Archives

    2006.01 / 2006.02 / 2006.03 / 2006.04 / 2006.05 / 2006.06 / 2006.07 / 2006.08 / 2006.09 / 2006.10 / 2006.11 / 2006.12 / 2007.01 / 2007.02 / 2007.03 / 2007.04 / 2007.05 / 2007.09 / 2008.08 / 2008.11 / 2009.09 / 2009.10 / 2010.01 / 2013.06 /

    Links

    Odds and Ends
    Feedburner
    Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add Yahoo News Feed
    http://www.wikio.com
    eXTReMe Tracker

    Luther Library Lutheran Confessions
    Aardvark Alley BBOV
    CAT-41 Xrysostom
    Ask the Pastor The Wittenberg Trail
    Cyberbrethren Cranach
    Lutheran Blog Directory The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
    Old Lutheran WorldMag.com
    Blogdom of God Luther at the Movies
    Wikipedia Bloggernity Search Directory
    Spam Poison Blog Universe
    Globe of Blogs Blogarama - The Blog Directory
    Blogdigger Get Firefox
    Blogz Pro-Life Blogs
    Listed in LS Blogs Blog Directory & Search engine
    PLAZOO Blurt It!


    Powered by Blogger